Playlist: 11 video game soundtracks that transcend the medium


The challenges brought by the “Dark Souls” game are matched by a soundtrack that adds to a wide range of feelings while still keeping a consistent sounding core. Image from Bandai.

The music in a game can make a huge difference when playing. It can turn an average game into something memorable. While players log hours into whatever they play, the songs and sounds become burned into the mind. Below are some of the greatest soundtracks to ever grace gaming.

DOOM (2016)

2016’s reboot of Doom did everything right and one of its best qualities is the sound. Nailing the soundtrack for this game was crucial in creating the right mood for tearing through demons. These songs will get anyone psyched for dropping knee-deep into hell and laying waste to the hordes inside.

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin

The legendary Jesper Kyd made his name famous in the industry with his work on “Hitman 2”. He composed the soundtrack and used the talents of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and Hungarian Radio Choir to make it come to life.

Freedom Fighters

Jesper Kyd would follow up his work on “Hitman 2” by composing the soundtrack for “Freedom Fighters”. The story of a Soviet Russian invasion on America in the early 2000s. This game’s music does a great job of capturing the oppressive and epic sound of a new regime. The Hungarian Radio Choir returns to give “Freedom Fighters” the powerful sound that it needed.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Game director, Hideo Kojima, wanted to capture the sound of a James Bond movie theme for the intro of “Snake Eater”. He did a phenomenal job of capturing that same feeling while also conveying the themes of survival and love present in the game.

Hotline Miami

“Hotline Miami’s” frantic and violent style of gameplay pairs perfectly with its soundtrack. The haze of blood, bullets and masks creates a high-energy and confusing vibe that makes the electric music pop like the various heads of your foes.

Persona 5

“Persona 5” is just dripping with style and flair. Everything about it blends to create a unique flavor of game that only “Persona” can deliver. The acid jazz tracks in this game are something that composer, Shoji Meguro, took a chance on and it paid off in spades.

Mega Man 2 (Anniversary Collection Edition)

“Mega Man” games are the undisputed kings of 8-bit music soundtracks. The most famous of these is the song used in the first stage of Dr.Wily’s fortress in “Mega Man 2”. As great as the original song is, the remix in the Anniversary Collection version of 2 is even better. It’s a modern update that retains the soul of the original and cranks up the adrenaline to 10.

Dark Souls

“Dark Souls” puts its players through some incredible challenges. A player’s journey will be mixed with moments of melancholy, triumph and awe. The soundtrack in the game manages to back up the wide range of feelings while still keeping a consistent sounding core in its music.

Batman: Arkham City

When you play a Batman game you want to feel like Batman. The gameplay in “Arkham City” makes the player feel like they’re in control of the Dark Knight at his best. The soundtrack makes the player feel like they’re in one of the Nolan Batman movies.

Street Fighter III: Third Strike

“Street Fighter III” was all about reinventing the series. Different gameplay, new characters, new look and a different style of music direction. The new wave of hip-hop inspired songs helped the game forge its own identity in the franchise.


“Halo” has one of the most iconic video game soundtracks of all time. A generation of players were captivated by the chorus of bellowing voices that played in the main menu. It’s a perfect soundtrack for the epic space saga that “Halo” was since the very beginning.

Ulises Duenas can be reached at [email protected] or @OrionUlisesD on Twitter.